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Nightspell by Leah Cypess Review

Title: Nightspell

Author: Leah Cypess

First published May 12, 2011

326 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780061957031 (ISBN10: 0061957038)

Rating: 3.26


Summoned by her father, the ruler of Eldrid, who seeks to unify the divided kingdoms, Lira journeys to Shadowrealm only to uncover that her brother, whom she intended to save, may not be willing to depart from this world where magic and darkness coexist.

About the Author

When I was in first grade, I wrote my very first story. It was about an ice-cream cone that was being eaten.

As I got older and reached fourth grade, I wrote a book about a girl and her heroic dog who were stranded on a desert island. It was inspired by The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies.

Even though I had a passion for writing, I took a few different paths before becoming a full-time writer. My first story, “Temple of Stone,” was published while I was still in high school.

However, my mother encouraged me to be practical and pursue a biology degree at Brooklyn College. I then attended Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years at a big law firm in New York City.

But even while working as a lawyer, I continued to write and submit my work. Finally, after 15 years since my first short story was published, I’m thrilled to say that I’m going to be a published novelist.

So far, I’ve published four YA fantasy novels: Mistwood, Nightspell, Death Sworn, and Death Marked. I currently reside in the DC area with my husband Aaron and our children.

Editoral Review

Nightspell by Leah Cypess is a captivating young adult fantasy novel published on May 12, 2011. Cypess is a talented author who has written several other popular YA fantasy books, including Death Sworn and Mistwood.

In Nightspell, Cypess creates a world where magic and politics are intricately woven together, leading to a story full of multi-layered characters and complex conflicts. The setting is inspired by medieval times, but with a magical twist that creates an enchanting and immersive atmosphere.

The story revolves around Darri, a young girl who can see into the spirit world but is misunderstood by her family and community. Together with her twin brother, she sets out on a dangerous journey to save her kingdom from an ancient curse that affects both the living and the dead.

Along the way, she encounters Prince Varis, a charming and mysterious figure who becomes her ally, but whose true intentions remain unclear. One of the strongest aspects of Nightspell is its well-crafted characters.

Darri is a relatable protagonist who undergoes a satisfying character arc as she grows in strength and courage. Prince Varis is a complex character who keeps the reader guessing about his true motives until the very end.

Other side characters, like Darri’s brother and the villainous queen, are also well-developed and add depth to the story. Cypess’s writing style is elegant and engaging, capturing both the magical nature of the story and the internal struggles of its characters.

The plot is tightly woven, keeping the reader engrossed in the unfolding events, and the pacing is just right, balancing action with character development. One minor criticism of Nightspell is its reliance on some familiar fantasy tropes, such as the chosen one and the evil queen.

However, Cypess manages to put her own spin on these tropes and keep the story fresh and original. Overall, Nightspell is a beautifully written and engaging YA fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of the genre.

It offers a compelling story, well-crafted characters, and rich world-building, all delivered with Cypess’s signature elegant writing style. This book is a must-read for lovers of epic fantasy and coming-of-age stories.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

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